Recently I was contacted by David Jaques (above), who shared with me his testimony of God’s unrelenting sovereign love. I hope you will be as blessed in reading it as I was.

Well Pastor Murray, I have been a Christian since I was 11 years old. My becoming a Christian was truly a miracle in the truest sense. I was a typical young man growing up in America. I loved video games and watching television. For about 6 years I had never really attended church. So my godfather who had been in this country for about 2 years sent for and got me a King James Bible accompanied with a workbook. I still remember it like yesterday. It arrived on a Saturday. Since I was a young boy I was so happy to receive mail. I tore open the package and started studying the material. I just kept reading and reading all afternoon into the early evening. It was hard reading. But I grasped the gist pretty immediately.

What I gathered from it was that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah from old as depicted in the old Testament and that he took our sins away and reconciled us to God making Him our Father and God. I actually cried a great deal later that  evening when I accepted Him as God’s incredible gift to us sinners. I didn’t cry so much because of sin but because I had somehow grasped whom God was. I cried I think because of recognizing God’s attributes. I saw His justice and His mercy. I just had to cry. I cleave unto Jesus like I don’t know what.

When I saw that sin was about offending an infinitely righteous God that made me realize the monstrosity of it. And then counterbalance that with the appeasement of that infinite justice through what Christ had done and I became completely undone. So I consider this a great miracle considering the fact that for 6 years I was just being a typical kid who had no cares for spiritual things. The first time I said a prayer in my life was being on my knees with eyes shut and confessing my utter depravity before God and accepting His Son as my Lord and ransomer. Go figure.

About 10 years ago at a frightful moment in my life. I was about to abandon the christian faith like I had done 4 years previously. So one night while I was working late, I searched the words pilgrims and puritans on the internet. I don’t know why. I guess I remembered being a young boy and being somewhat fascinated by these very strange people. I actually thought that they were just very harsh men and women never thought of them as Christians. That is how they are depicted in the history books you know. To me they never seemed nice so I never thought of them as Christians. I remember in high school hearing bad things about Calvin and Calvinist in world history class. The problem is they never tell you about the religious lives of these people. How incredibly robust and INTENSE it was. Had I known that I would have been a much stronger Christian and would never have left the faith.

So that night I was led to a website called  puritansermons.com. It’s a great website. It has great biographical information on individual Puritans. So in reading about the lives of several puritans I discovered that they were like me. They were incredible intellectuals and were on fire for the Triune God. But what surprised me the most was the sobriety of their faith. They were quiet reflective men. Well my personality is like that. I had trouble reconciling my faith with my personality. I was an intellectual. I went to college and majored in Classics and was very quiet sober young man. The churches that I was attending made me feel awkward. The services catered more to emotion. I wanted more substantive intellectual expressions of my faith. So in a way they made me feel as if Christianity was not worth pursuing. Emotions can only get you so far and then you burn out. I was burning out and began to see Christianity as senseless. But I was drawn to these faith communities because I remember how  much emotion was involved in my conversion. So in a way I connected Christianity with deep emotion which is what the people I was going to church had. Had I thought a little further I would have realized that my deep emotions came from profound intellectual understanding of God’s attributes as revealed in the Bible.

So in reading about the Puritans I learned that I was a lot like them. Suddenly I felt like I belonged. So my faith became very very strong. Because of them not even death can make renounce my faith. I will never abandon it. After reading the biographies of the individual Puritans I started reading their works. It was like a beggar being allowed into Fort Knox. I read things by the great Rutherford and other divines. I learned so much about this great faith of ours and my soul was so strengthened beyond words. There is also a great beauty about this Christian faith which words can’t express. I also after reading some of the works of British divines discovered the works of Calvin. I read the entire Institutes in about 2 weeks I think. I could not put it down.

Pastor Murray you know what is so crazy. The act of a young boy on his knees with a stream of tears flowing down his cheeks only makes sense because of what an incredibly educated French lawyer and humanist who wrote enough theological treatises to fill a whole room did. What I did would have made perfect sense to Calvin! That’s what is so crazy. Calvin is a Christian in the truest sense of the word. If you are a true christian reading him is like looking into the mirror. The man is a Christian. I can’t even see Christianity apart from Calvin. It does not even make sense. His Institutes include a great deal more than just his ideas on election. I agree with those ideas by the way wholeheartedly.